Enjoy Vacation Knowing You’ll Return to an Empty Inbox

Ariana Huffington's app is your new out-of-office manager

August 29, 2017 9:00 am

A proper vacation should be a time when you focus your energies on recharging your own batteries, not the ones in your phone, laptop or tablet.

That’s something many of us have forgotten as a recent survey found that more than half of Americans (62%) say they will check their emails and voicemails from work while on vacation.

Clearly those respondents do not work for Arianna Huffington at Thrive Global because she has implemented an application called Thrive Away that doesn’t just discourage employees from checking their work email while on vacation — it makes it impossible.

The premise and execution of Thrive Away is pretty simple. An employee activates the system and heads out on vacation. Any subsequent email they receive is answered with an out-of-office message that lists their return date to work and is then deleted from their inbox. If the email was important, the thinking is the sender will get in touch again once the employee is back at work.

“So the key is not just that the tool is creating a wall between you and your email,” Huffington explains in a piece for Harvard Business Review. “It’s that it frees you from the mounting anxiety of having a mounting pile of emails waiting for you on your return — the stress of which mitigates the benefits of disconnecting in the first place.”

As useful as the app seems to be, its major drawback appears to be that you need a Thrive Global email account to get it. Until that changes, you may want to consider moving to France.

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